I haven't heard from my child in a year!

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I have not heard from my child, Erika, since late last year (2015) I received a letter back in march but it was dated last year prior to christmas and she apparently hadn't received my letters because she wrote that she was assuming I had had my baby (who was born in Feb 2015). I called compassion and they assured me that she was still ok and that letters were just backed up. After the earthquakes in Ecuador I never heard back saying that she was ok, I finally called again and they assured me that she was alive and so was her family but I still have not heard from her. I keep getting letters from compassion to donate more money, sponsor more kids, and to write more letters to Erika but I still have not heard from her. My husband and I are considering withdrawing our support because we don't believe its actually going to support her anymore
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Rachel Hawthorne

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Posted 2 years ago

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Katherine

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Rachel, I'm so sorry that you haven't heard from your child in such a long time. What you were told when you called Compassion was exactly right. We have indeed been backed up with processing letters. We called sponsors about the earthquake in Ecuador only if their child was directly affected, so we didn't call you because Erika and her family were not harmed. Praise God that she and her family are okay! It's showing on my end that the letter you are referencing was delivered in May. We can send an inquiry to request another letter from Erika six months after you received your last letter, which would be November. However, the children are required to write a minimum of two letters each year, but that's only if the sponsor does not write to the child a whole lot. They are also required to respond to their sponsor's letters. So, the more you write, the more Erika will write to you. If a sponsor does not write, then they will only receive a letter about every six months. I'm so sorry to hear that you are thinking of ending your support of Erika. Please let us know if you would like to proceed with cancelling your sponsorship and your request will be honored. 
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Rachel Hawthorne

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Hello Katherine,

Thank you for responding so quickly. The letter that you are referencing back in May is the letter I originally talked about in my first email. I received it in May (I apologize I thought it was March) of this year but you can clearly see on the letter that it is dated for late last year, in fact Erika is telling me about her upcoming plans for Christmas 2015 and my other concern is that SHE isn't receiving letters because in that same letter she makes a comment about how she can only assume I have had my baby- my daughter was born in February of 2015. So I'm getting a letter in May of 2016 where my sponsored child is writing that she's not sure I've had my baby who is over 1 years old by the time I receive that letter. That's a big problem, even if each child is supposed to write twice a year- I'm clearly not getting them. I have not received a letter that she has actually written in 2016. I stopped writing to her as much because it doesn't seem like she's getting my letters. I have been sponsoring her since she was 7 years old and I absolutely do not want to stop supporting her but something on compassions end needs to change. I can see that I am not the only sponsor with this issue and it's not fair to the children or to the sponsors. It also makes me sad that you guys seem so quick to proceed with terminating my sponsorship rather than figuring out a better solution to this problem. I don't know if compassion is under new management but it didn't use to be this bad
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Adam

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Hi Rachel. I'm another sponsor like you and I haven't received a letter from one of the kids I sponsor this year either. I don't know if you know this, but Compassion recently implemented a new, digital system for letters to move them back and forth much faster than before. There have been some problems they encountered that were unexpected with the translation software associated with this system which has caused the backlog in letters. This is a completely separate issue from our monthly support and gifts and does not affect those at all. Regarding the letter system, I'm excited to say that I recently received a letter from the other child I sponsor that was written just a few weeks prior, which is amazing! I'm sorry that you're upset, but I believe Compassion is doing everything they possibly can to work through these changes as fast as possible. What we can do on our end is pray for Compassion's ministry and the staff and show them grace and be supportive, while they work through this difficult transition, in the same way that they are to us sponsors. I trust that they will get all of this worked out very soon. I know it seems like a long time, but a big, complicated transition like this takes time. I think it will be better for the kids and the sponsors once everything is running smoothly. I hope you decide to continue sponsoring. Have a great day.
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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Rachel, I am so sorry for the discouragement and frustration that has hindered your relationship with Erika. I can tell you love this precious girl dearly and just want to stay updated on her life and to share the happy moments of your life with her as well. I absolutely want to help get this straightened out for you and will take all the time I need to in order to help ease your concerns. First, I do agree that the letter you received from her this year was written a while ago, seeming to be around August 2015. She would have received the letter you wrote to her in February by the end of May. That is the only letter I see that we logged from you last year. Did you mention in that letter that your son had been born, or did you write one after that to tell her about him? I want to make sure we have been receiving the letters that you write to her! It is possible that she misunderstood that he had already been born too. As long as your letters reach our office, we are able to deliver them to the child. I also think it's highly possible that this letter was delivered to you so late because she could have forgotten to bring it back to the center after writing it. Nevertheless, I agree that the amount of time between when she wrote it and when you received it was far too long. It's also been too long since she has written to you again.

Like Adam mentioned, we are going through a huge letter system change that has not gone as smoothly as we had hoped and planned for. Sadly, the Ecuador earthquake also hit about the same time that we were beginning the transition to this new system, which did make it difficult for our staff in that country to handle both. Their first priority was to make sure that all the children and staff were accounted for, safe, and taken care of. Though the rebuilding will be going on for a while, I am so glad to know that Erika was not affected! Praise the Lord for that! These system changes have been difficult for all of our offices, but I cannot imagine how much more difficult they have been for our precious Ecuador staff. In the system, I can see that Erika has written a letter to you. We should be processing this letter soon and place it on your account when the translation is finished. I know how frustrating it is to feel like you are not connecting with your child any longer, and I am so sorry that the disconnect in letters has not given you the encouragement to write to Erika more often. I have absolutely been there myself! I would encourage you to try to write to her more often, even just once every two months if possible (I know it's hard with a growing little man!) These letters can be tough for the kids, because their sponsors are probably are the only ones they have ever written a letter to. Letters can cross in the mail, and children can have a hard time understanding how to hold a conversation through the letters. But Rachel, your letters and the words of encouragement you have shared with her over the last six years have brought such joy and hope into her life! You may never know how much your investment has impacted her, but I do pray that the two of you are able to grow a close bond again, reaching each other's hearts deeply! Compassion is going through a difficult time right now as we change this system, and we know and are so sorry for the effect this has had on relationships between sponsors and their children. My hope is that once the new system is in place and working efficiently, you will be able to see the benefits of it. To be able to read a letter from Erika that she wrote just a few short weeks ago, knowing that your precious girl is growing in confidence, knowledge, and grace because of the support that your family is extending to her :).

Also, please know that we in no way want your relationship with Erika to be severed if there is anything we can do to save it. Your love for this sweetheart is evident, and I personally apologize that we made you feel as though your investment and partnership were not cherished and appreciated. Please allow me to help you continue sorting this out if you need more help from me! I sincerely want to make sure we have been getting all of your letters! Blessings to you Rachel.
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Rachel Hawthorne

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Thank you so much for your response. Thank you for acknowledging how long it has been since I have heard from her. I did write to her a few times last year, a couple times I included stickers and bookmarks. I know I tried the electronic letter one time but I can't remember if that was last year or early this year. Thank you to Adam for the reminder to show grace, I just feel very discouraged and I keep telling myself to be patient but after a year I feel like something needs to happen. I haven't received an updated picture of her in a couple years and I used to get one each year. I used to get pictures of her with her birthday or Christmas presents too and it's been years since I've seen pictures like that. I will write to her more frequently and hope that she does get my letters
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Rachel, I just wanted to follow up as it looks like a letter was sent to you from Erika in October. I wanted to make sure you received this letter. Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.
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annie

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I write Bibin 1-2 x a month for almost a year and I only received 2 letters- but I had to request an inquiry about why I hadn't gotten a letter before I got one... IN7830553
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Annie, I am so sorry as it looks like we missed your post several months ago! It looks like you have been in contact with us via email, but please do let us know if you need further assistance. 

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